Posts tagged “Vivek Wadhwa”
Analysis: Facebook's recent acquisition of WhatsApp for a record-breaking $19 billion offers Facebook a unique advantage in the rapidly growing mobile-social-media space; and its acquisition of virtual-reality headset maker Oculus gives it an edge in the future market for virtual-reality displays. Though Mark Zuckerberg may have missed the opportunity to invent his own technologies, he is now doing the smart thing by using Facebook's stock as a currency to buy what he needs.
I meet entrepreneurs all over the world who think that venture capital is a prerequisite for starting a company. They write business plans and ask for introductions to venture capitalists. I tell them that they should instead bootstrap their startups; that what would have cost millions of dollars a few years ago now costs thousands. This story is about one startup that bootstrapped, rebooted and sold for millions.
Opinion: Hardly a week goes by without the announcement of a major scientific breakthrough in genomics. This means that medicine will, within a few years, start advancing at the same pace as the Internet and software. And, we will see a revolution in health care.
Opinion: Yes, I know I am biased and seem like a Tesla "fanboy." This is because I see the future of the automotive industry and a way to reduce our dependence on environment-destroying fossil fuels. Tesla has now proven the viability and superiority of electric vehicles. Along the way, it has had to battle skeptics, short-sellers, and even the press.
Opinion: When the tech industry was in its infancy, it was held to a low standard. Frat-boy behavior was tolerated, and the industry was a source of amusement. Now technology is an important part of the global economy. Technology companies are valued higher than the traditional blue chips and rake in billions in IPOs. They are expected to be exemplary, rather than laggards.
Opinion: I recently posted about Dropbox's hiring practices and how they put women at a disadvantage. But Dropbox is by no means a worst offender - they are actually one of the best companies in Silicon Valley. This is an industry-wide issue. Here are some suggestions on how to improve the situation.
A short letter to the editor in The Wall Street Journal by VC firm Kleiner Perkins co-founder Tom Perkins ignites a firestorm of criticism from other venture capitalists as well as former Triangle entrepreneur-turned-academic Vivek Wadhwa. But Wadhwa, a frequent critic of VCs and Silicon valley's elites, says more than Perkins need to change.
Opinion: Despite what critics say, the United States stands on the cusp of a dramatic revival and rejuvenation, propelled by an amazing wave of technological innovation. A slew of breakthroughs will deliver the enormous productivity gains and the societal dramatic cost savings needed to sustain economic growth and prosperity. These breakthroughs, mostly digital in nature, will complete the shift begun by the Internet away to a new era where the precepts of Moore's Law can be applied to virtually any field.
Analysis: More recently, we became disappointed with solar energy and electric cars. The good news is that this disappointment will soon turn into amazement as well. I know because I live in a solar home and drive a Tesla electric car that I say is a spaceship that travels on land.
Opinion: Whether you agree or disagree and regardless of whether you love outsourcing or hate it, much more of it lies ahead. The nature of work is itself changing: it is democratizing. Outsourcing is being superseded by crowdsourcing -- which is enabling anyone to take a job anywhere. Having people all across the world collaborate in this way will not only disrupt industries but also change societies.
Opinion: But the task isn't easy. Finding toys that appeal to girls and that inspire them to study science and technology isn't easy, however, as Andrea Guendelman learned when shopping for her five-year-old daughter. She wanted a chess set that her daughter would like. She found nothing. Then she looked for a girls' science kit and found nothing. When she talked to other mothers, they expressed the same frustration--that the toys and apps that inspire children to learn science and mathematics are geared toward boys rather than toward girls.
Twitter has garnered worldwide attention for its bad corporate governance practices and its inappropriate response to criticism. The company needs to be congratulated, however, for announcing that it is adding Marjorie Scardino to its board. Scardino is former chief executive of publishing giant Pearson and is highly accomplished. She is known for being outspoken. One woman board member isn't enough, however, no matter how competent or outspoken she is.
Analysis: The nature of work itself is changing for knowledge workers. During this decade, location will cease to be a barrier; many types of work will done as micro-tasks; and we will be collaborating in new ways. What will be most problematic is that our employers will make even greater demands on us and further intrude into our lives. This is the future we are headed into, whether we like it or not.
Opinion: Governments can build infrastructure and pump money into education and R&D. But they cannot manufacture innovation. Innovation comes from creative people who challenge authority and take risks--who exchange ideas and experiment at the fringe. This is not possible in China. And its government's efforts are hampering innovation rather than fostering it.
Opinion: One of the technology industry's most serious shortcomings is that it leaves out women and some minorities. I have written a lot about the dearth of women and why this is an important issue. I am also crowdcreating a book, Innovating Women, on how to fix this imbalance. In a nutshell, we need to do this for the economy and to boost innovation.
Kids working in basements on shoestring budgets can now solve humanity's grand challenges and this is what we want our children doing instead of engineering the financial system as companies such as Goldman Sachs do, says Vivek Wadhwa.
The stereotypical successful entrepreneur is Mark Zuckerberg--the young college dropout who dreamed up a crazy idea while in his dorm room. The fact is that you are never too old to innovate, Vivek Wadhwa says.
The Economist and my friends at TechCrunch asked if I would debate Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller at The Economist's high-powered Buttonwood Gathering on Goldman versus Google: A career on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley? To my friends, this is a no-brainer. Why would anyone in their right mind want graduates to sell their souls to Goldman? But this is a conference of the elite of the financial services industry. These people actually believe the opposite.
Opinion: Board meetings are not hackathons, in which geeks come together to write computer code. They are about corporate governance and protecting the interests of shareholders. Board members do not need technical skills, other than the ability to operate a laptop or smartphone. The role of the board is to review the performance of the chief executive, monitor finances and budgets, approve compensation, and help set corporate strategy. Having an understanding of the industry is very helpful, but not every board member needs to be an expert. There are thousands of women who can do this.
Opinion: Twitter proved this week a point that I have long been making: that Silicon Valley is a boys' club--a fraternity of the worst kind--stacking the deck against women, overlooking blacks and Hispanics, and providing unfair advantage to an elite, connected, few who have learnt the Valley's rules of engagement and mastered them.